Thorpe's coach a beacon for females - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Thorpe's coach a beacon for females

13/02/2005 10:10:02 PM Comments (0)

Former swimmer turned coach Tracey Menzies has waited 14 years to be told she can finally have children.

Excessive dieting and overtraining as an 18-year-old swimmer led Menzies to a poolside collapse and over a decade of medical pain.

In a revealing interview with the ABC's Australian Story, Menzies reveals her own personal swimming torment and how it has helped mould her unique training techniques.

Best known for coaching Olympic hero Ian Thorpe, Menzies also guides some of Australia's top junior swimmers at Sydney's Sutherland Leisure Centre.

It is Menzies' views on coaching young female athletes that are certain to cause much discussion within the swimming community.

"Long term what I want for my females athletes is to be able to, when they leave the sport, to be able to have children," said Menzies.

"I don't think swimming is alone, I think several sports out there that are playing Russian roulette with female athletes.

"They're allowing their bodies to do things that are not normal."

Menzies talks of some coaches in various sports having mixed opinions regarding the possible benefits for young female athletes of a delayed menstrual cycle.

"I am hearing coaches debate the issue that female athletes have not started their period by 17 or 18," Menzies said.

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